On March 25, 2009, on the occasion of the 65th anniversary of the day of death of Blessed Martyr Fr. Emilian Kowcz, on the site of the former Nazi concentration camp of Majdanek in Poland he was proclaimed the patron of pastors of the UGCC. "By this decree to the honor and glory of the Holy Trinity, as a zealous servant and intercessor before the throne of the Lord on high, I solemnly proclaim Blessed Martyr Fr. Emilian Kowcz the patron of pastors of the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church. All priests and pastors of our Church are called to follow in their lives and ministry the example of this brother of ours in the priesthood." So His Beatitude Lubomyr wrote in the document. As part of the ceremony, on the territory of the former concentration camp an obelisk was unveiled with a text of Blessed Martyr Fr. Emilian: "…Here I see God – God, who is the same for all of us, regardless of our religious differences."" />

His Beatitude Lubomyr called the priests of the UGCC in life and ministry to follow the example of Blessed Martyr Emilian Kowcz

Friday, 27 March 2009, 12:39
On March 25, 2009, on the occasion of the 65th anniversary of the day of death of Blessed Martyr Fr. Emilian Kowcz, on the site of the former Nazi concentration camp of Majdanek in Poland he was proclaimed the patron of pastors of the UGCC. "By this decree to the honor and glory of the Holy Trinity, as a zealous servant and intercessor before the throne of the Lord on high, I solemnly proclaim Blessed Martyr Fr. Emilian Kowcz the patron of pastors of the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church. All priests and pastors of our Church are called to follow in their lives and ministry the example of this brother of ours in the priesthood." So His Beatitude Lubomyr wrote in the document. As part of the ceremony, on the territory of the former concentration camp an obelisk was unveiled with a text of Blessed Martyr Fr. Emilian: "…Here I see God – God, who is the same for all of us, regardless of our religious differences."
On March 25, 2009, on the occasion of the 65th anniversary of the day of death of Blessed Martyr Fr. Emilian Kowcz, on the site of the former Nazi concentration camp of Majdanek in Poland he was proclaimed the patron of pastors of the UGCC. "By this decree to the honor and glory of the Holy Trinity, as a zealous servant and intercessor before the throne of the Lord on high, I solemnly proclaim Blessed Martyr Fr. Emilian Kowcz the patron of pastors of the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church. All priests and pastors of our Church are called to follow in their lives and ministry the example of this brother of ours in the priesthood." So His Beatitude Lubomyr wrote in the document. As part of the ceremony, on the territory of the former concentration camp an obelisk was unveiled with a text of Blessed Martyr Fr. Emilian: "…Here I see God – God, who is the same for all of us, regardless of our religious differences." Participating in the event were bishops of the UGCC from Ukraine and Poland; Archbishop Jozef Zycinski, RCC Metropolitan of Lublin; Vice-Premier Minister of Ukraine Ivan Vasyunyk; Vice-Minister of Culture and National Heritage of Poland Piotr Zuchowski; Malgorzata Zaluska, representative of the Secretariat of President of Poland Lech Kaczynski; and representatives of the local authorities, the Jewish community, the diplomatic corps, and numerous priests of the UGCC. The ceremony began with prayers for those who died in the Majdanek concentration camp. Then the Decree of the Head of the UGCC was read. After this ashes from Majdanek in special containers were handed on to representatives of 15 eparchies and exarchates from Ukraine, Belarus and Poland. These will be kept in Kyiv, Lviv, Ternopil’, Ivano-Frankivs’k, Drohobych, Kolomyja, Stryj, Sokal’, Zhovkva, Chortkiv, Luts’k, Odesa, Donets’k, and also in Przemysl, Wroclaw and Brest. "Today we stand on a piece of Polish ground where more than 60 years ago there was a hell created by fascist monsters. Majdanek is our eternal pain. It will live yet long in the hearts of present and coming generations," Ivan Vasyunyk noted in his speech. He underlined that the life of Father Kowcz was the way of a truly righteous man of the world who was a Ukrainian but could understand and love others. "Today the world knows about Schindler but unfortunately does not know about the Ukrainian Emilian Kowcz. He accepted a martyr's death here, rescuing people of another nation, another faith," noted the Ukrainian Vice-Premier. The government official noted that it is necessary to make maximum efforts so that at the official level Father Emilian Kowcz is acknowledged a righteous man of the nations of the world. In the word of greeting of President of Poland Lech Kaczynski it was noted that "honoring Father Emilian Kowcz shows the victory of good over evil, love over hatred." In the opinion of the head of the Polish government, this event is evidence of spiritual community and closeness between confessions and peoples. The message of the Polish President notes: "It is noteworthy that today during the joint prayer representatives of many peoples of the world give honor to this personality," reports UKRINFORM.  The way of life of Blessed Martyr Fr. Emilian ended in the concentration camp on March 25, 1944, and in 2001 he was proclaimed a blessed by Pope of Rome John Paul II. In the autumn of 2008 the Synod of Bishops of the UGCC decided to proclaim Blessed Martyr Fr. Emilian Kowcz the patron of pastors of the UGCC.

Information Department of the UGCC

Photo Fr. Bohdan Stepan
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